My friend Andy, an Unsolved Mysteries nerd of the highest order, introduced me to an episode of the series which looked at the Dale; an economical three-wheeled car of the future. The Dale was to be produced in the mid-1970s by the not-quite-futuristically-named Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation, and bore some resemblance to the General Motors three-wheeled concept car (in reverse) from 1964.
Funny thing about the supposed 70 mile-per-gallon Dale? It was a fraud. There was no Dale car, and no intention to manufacture it. Twentieth Century Motor Car Corp was started by entrepreneur-poseur Liz Carmichael who, according to this People magazine article from 1975, was born Jerry Dean Michael. I love that Liz added the word "car" to her given last name.
Carmichael made off with thousands of dollars gleaned from excited inventors, until being arrested and charged with grand theft, fraud and securities violations. She jumped bail but was again caught after the airing of this episode.
Remember kids, the Future™ can be used for both good and evil.
"We went to the research and development lab and observed what appeared to be people appearing to be busy but in wandering through the lab I saw no evidence that they were designing a vehicle or were in the process of making a vehicle."
This post originally appeared at Paleofuture.com.